Get rid of wisdom teeth related issues at Mountain View Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
Wisdom teeth are the last set of teeth to emerge and are found at the very end of the jawline. They usually surface during the late teenage years to the mid-20’s and could cause slight irritation and pain. However, this is quite a minor issue in comparison to impacted wisdom teeth, which is a condition where the wisdom teeth get ‘stuck’ in the jawbone. The condition can sometimes be highly painful and if left untreated, it could cause an infection and lead to further complications.
Is it necessary to remove impacted wisdom teeth?
We typically have four wisdom teeth in total, two on either side of the upper and the lower jawbones. Teeth that are partially exposed usually need to be removed. If only part of the tooth is erupted, then there is a space where bacteria go below the gums into the jawbone leading to bone loss. In additional, it is more difficult to clean around those teeth and cavities are common to the wisdom tooth itself and the tooth in front of it. Impacted wisdom teeth can lead to jaw pain, headaches, earaches, shifting of teeth, periodontal disease, cavities, and the formation of cysts and tumors around them. Typically, removing them in high school around the age of 15-16, before the root are fully developed and the bone is much softer, allow a safer experience and less risk of nerve injury.
Types of impacted wisdom teeth
Soft tissue impaction: The wisdom tooth remains almost completely under the gums. Brushing around the tooth may feel painful as well as chewing food, especially when the tooth first begins to erupt.
Partial impaction: The tooth would be partially erupted and partially under the gum line covered in bone. There is usually gum inflammation, with or without pain, around these teeth due to the inability to clean well.
Complete bony impaction: The tooth has more than 50% of the crown of the tooth covered with bone. This may or may not have communication with the oral cavity. Partial communication with the oral cavity may allow occasion gum swelling and pain.
Treatment of impacted wisdom teeth
The treatment procedure would begin with a thorough screening of the impacted tooth. The dentist would check for signs of infection, formation of cysts, proximity to nerves, and if the adjoining teeth are infected. Either a panoramic x-ray or a CBCT (3D CT scan) will be taken to determine the severity of impaction and to assess the risk of removal.
During the extraction, local anesthesia will be administered to numb the jaw and the adjoining gums to prevent discomfort. Sometimes the teeth can be removed by pushing on the teeth with special elevators and sometimes teeth need to be removed in pieces. After removal, precautions are discussed to take care of the surgical site and medicines will be prescribed as needed to prevent infection and manage pain.
Call Mountain View Family & Cosmetic Dentistry at (650) 988-9458 or schedule an online appointment to get your impacted wisdom tooth removed immediately.